Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Loneliness

Being single is starting to feel a little dicey during the impending holidays. My birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year, which is intensifying the "something missing" feeling. (And to add to the intensity: My father's birthday would have been November 22. He's been gone over two years... Then there was Mom's birthday November 9. She's so diminished...another aspect of loss.)

Loneliness and being alone aren't the same thing, clearly. May Sarton wrote a lot about that. Maybe I need to revisit her.

Sometimes a wave of loneliness crashes over me. Other times I'm able to float in aloneness and feel at peace.

What I'm facing, in part, is change of habit. The habit of waking up to someone in bed every morning--that feeling of a familiar body reliably nestled next to yours. The habit of knowing that on your birthday, you are someone's special person: someone who will give you a card, a little gift, a cake with candles. The habit of knowing you will make Thanksgiving plans together, and that after the turkey feast you will unpack the holiday ornaments to create sparkle in the darkening days.

It's odd how "being alone" isn't true, for the most part. Most of us have friends, family, colleagues, neighbors--people who love and support us. Why do we focus so much on coupling? There's something about the intimacy...and also the conflict...and then the deadening and reawakening...which often means breaking up and starting over, yes?

Speaking of Coupling, I'm a late-comer to the hilarious BBC comedy. Been enjoying it lately, in a kind of masochistic way...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all...and happy navigation of life and love.


Malcolm R. Campbell said...

Another aspect of holiday loneliness comes when friends one was actively involved with have children. Suddenly, their holidays are filled with family to the exclusion of people they interacted with on a weekly basis up to them. Couples without kids are sort of cast into the not-invited-to-anything category.

It's tough being alone during the holidays when seemingly everyone else is involved in festive activities.


Collin Kelley said...

You are loved, Kate. xo

Hope you have a good turkey day.

Robin said...

Hang in there. Sending good vibes your way!

Sarah Allen said...

I know what you mean. But holiday loneliness is literary, in a sense. You can use your emotion to intensify your writing. Not that the loneliness is any easier, but it may be worth looking at the bright side occasionally, right? Anyway, just know that many people out there understand how you feel, and don't give up on following your dreams! (check out my creative writing blog).